The Royal Canadian Air Force concluded its participation in CRUZEX 2018 in Natal, Brazil, on November 30, following almost two weeks of training alongside members of several militaries from around the Americas.
This was the RCAF’s second time participating in CRUZEX, which was last held in 2013. Operating two CC-130J Hercules cargo aircraft, the CRUZEX Air Task Force was made up of 37 members of 436 Transport Squadron and 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, and two jumpmasters from the Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre (CAAWC).
“During CRUZEX, we took the opportunity to fly tactical missions in combat scenarios, performing everything from airborne operations and container delivery system drops, to upgrade flights for our first officers,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Andy Bowser, Air Task Force Commander and Commanding Officer of 436 Transport Squadron. “Perhaps the most important part of the exercise for us was building relationships with our partner nations in the region.”
Second Lieutenant Mariana Dutra (left) and Lieutenant Lay-Ann Lie Vieira Quelie (centre), pilots with the Brazilian Air Force, join a warrant officer from 426 Transport Training Squadron on the ramp of an RCAF CC-130J Hercules for a training flight on CRUZEX 2018 near Natal, Brazil on November 23, 2018. Photograph by Able Seaman Paul Green
Defence diplomacy in the Americas is a key initiative of Strong, Secure, Engaged (Canada’s Defence Policy), and Brazil is one of the Government of Canada’s priorities for engagement in the Western Hemisphere. The RCAF has had a bilateral relationship with the Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira) since 2009.
During the combined training scenarios, RCAF members witnessed the operations of, and trained alongside, multiple Brazilian Air Force, Navy and Army aircraft; Chilean and United States Air Force F-16s and KC-135s; a French C-235 transport plane; Peruvian A-37s and Mirage 2000s fighters; and Uruguayan A-37s.
“Exercising in unfamiliar environments like Brazil contributes to the operational readiness of Air Mobility aircrew and technicians, as we may be called upon to fly anywhere in the world to support Canadian Armed Forces operations,” said Captain Samantha Behm, a pilot with 436 Squadron.
Members of CAAWC had the opportunity to jump from Brazilian C-130s and C-295s, and hosted Brazilian Army paratroopers on board RCAF CC-130Js for a jump. The exercise concluded with 160 Brazilian Army paratroops (“paraquedistas”) receiving their Canadian jump wings in a ceremony.
“Through participation in CRUZEX, the RCAF is strengthening international and regional security, and developing important relationships that will enable close collaboration on future humanitarian and military missions,” said Major-General Christian Drouin, Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division.
On November 8, Bombardier released its third quarter 2018 results, which included several announcements. One of the more notable announcements, is the plan to cut 5,000 jobs over the next twelve to eighteen months. According to the company's press release, "Bombardier also launched a new enterprise-wide productivity program to further streamline, lean out and simplify the Company. The initiative includes two actions. First, with the heavy aerospace investment phase successfully completed, Bombardier will right-size and redeploy its central aerospace engineering team. Key engineering team members will be redeployed to the business segments, with the largest group moving to Business Aircraft, to ensure they have all the necessary capabilities for future business jet development programs.
"Bombardier will also establish a new Advanced Technologies Office (ATO), which will be led by François Caza, who has been appointed Bombardier’s Chief Technology Officer. The ATO will focus on systems design and engineering, including applying experience from Bombardier’s aerospace programs to its rail transportation business.
"In addition to right-sizing and redeploying central engineering, Bombardier has launched a company-wide restructuring initiative focused on optimizing production and management processes, flattening management structures and further reducing indirect costs.
"Collectively, these actions will result in a reduction of approximately 5,000 positions across the organization over the next 12 to 18 months, leading to annualized savings of approximately $250 million at full run rate, which we expect by 2021. Bombardier anticipates recording a restructuring charge in 2019 of approximately the same amount as special items."
Also in the press release, "On November 7, 2018, the Corporation entered into a definitive agreement to sell its activities consisting of flight and technical training for Bombardier Business Aircraft carried out principally in training centers located in Montréal, Québec, and Dallas, Texas to CAE, a long-time Bombardier training partner. This transaction provides Bombardier’s Business Aircraft customers the benefit of CAE’s training expertise, while Bombardier focuses on aircraft development and services. Concurrently with the sale, Bombardier and CAE have entered into an agreement to extend their Authorized Training Provider (ATP) relationship whereby CAE will prepay all royalties under the agreement. Combined, the total value of both transactions is $800 million, including $645 million for the sale of the training activities. Net of fees, liabilities and normal closing adjustments, we expect net proceeds of approximately $650 million. Closing of the sale transaction is expected by the second half of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals."
The release also addressed the sale of the Q400 programme to Longview Aviation Capital Corp., "On November 7, 2018, the Corporation entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of the Q Series aircraft program assets, including aftermarket operations, to a wholly owned subsidiary of Longview Aviation Capital Corp., for gross proceeds of approximately $300 million. The agreement covers all assets and intellectual property and Type Certificates associated with the Dash 8 Series 100, 200 and 300 as well as the Q400 program operations at the Downsview manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada. The transaction is expected to close by the second half of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Net proceeds for this transaction are expected at approximately $250 million net of fees, liabilities and normal closing adjustments."
On November 8, Longview Aviation Capital Corp., parent company to Viking Air Limited, agreed to acquire, through an affiliate, the entire Dash 8 programme, including the 100, 200 and 300 series and the in-production Q400 programme from Bombardier Inc. Also included as part of the transaction are rights to the de Havilland name and trademark in an all-Canadian transactions. Once completed, Longview will become North America’s largest commercial turbo-prop aircraft manufacturer.
“The Dash 8 turbo-prop is the perfect complement to our existing portfolio of specialized aircraft including the Twin Otter and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 series of water bombers,” said David Curtis, CEO of Longview Aviation Capital Corp. “We see enormous value in the de Havilland Dash 8 programme, with these aircraft in demand and in use all around the world.”
As part of the agreement, Longview will receive all assets and intellectual property and Type Certificates associated with the Dash 8 programme. Upon the closing of the transaction, Longview will also assume responsibility for the worldwide product support business – covering more than 1,000 aircraft either currently in service or slated for production.
Longview will continue to independently operate the programme at the original de Havilland manufacturing site located at Downsview, Ontario upon closing of the transaction. The Downsview site was sold by Bombardier earlier this year but, under the terms of a lease with the new owners and a license from Bombardier, production will remain on-site until at least 2021. As part of the transaction Longview also looks forward to welcoming Bombardier employees currently associated with the production, support and sales of the Dash 8 programme.
“We are committed to a business-as-usual approach that will see no interruption to the production, delivery and support of these outstanding aircraft,” added Curtis. “With the entire de Havilland product line reunited under the same banner for the first time in decades, we look forward to working with customers, suppliers and employees upon close of the transaction to determine what opportunities lie ahead.”
Longview and Bombardier will work closely in the period until the closing of the transaction to ensure a seamless transition for employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders with no interruption in production, delivery and support of the aircraft.
This transaction builds on Longview’s established track record of acquiring and successfully operating significant aircraft manufacturing, parts and serving programmes including the Twin Otter programme and the Canadair CL 215 and 415 waterbomber series.
The transaction is subject to typical closing conditions and the receipt of regulatory approvals. The sale and transaction are expected to close by the second half of 2019.
On 26 October, Delta Air Lines became the first U.S. carrier to take delivery of the Airbus A220 aircraft. On hand for the delivery ceremony at the aircraft’s assembly line in Mirabel were members of the A220 team as well as government officials and executives from Delta, Airbus, Bombardier and Investissement Quebec.
Delta’s A220 will enter service in early 2019, making Delta the fourth global airline to operate the aircraft previously known as the Bombardier C Series. The C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP) welcomed Airbus as lead partner earlier this year, prompting the change of name to the Airbus A220. Delta is the largest A220-100 customer, with a firm order for 75 aircraft.
Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus’ commercial aircraft business, said, “We at Airbus are dedicated to providing our customers the right products for a marketplace that needs modern, efficient and passenger-friendly aircraft – and the remarkable A220 certainly delivers. When a great airline like Delta puts a new aircraft into service as a platform for their outstanding passenger service, the entire industry takes note. The A220 team is gratified by the confidence that the Delta family has placed in this excellent, Canadian-born aircraft.”
The A220-100 delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency. It brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft.
With an order book of over 400 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market, estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.
As of the end of September, Delta was operating a fleet of 235 Airbus aircraft, including 182 A320 Family members, as well as 42 A330s and 11 A350 XWB, or eXtra Wide Body aircraft. The airline has more than 275 additional Airbus aircraft on order. Next year, Delta will become the first U.S. airline to operate the new Airbus A330neo.
Airbus has revealed the A220 at a ceremony held at its Henri-Ziegler Delivery Centre, near Toulouse. Witnessed by Airbus employees and members of the global news media, the A220-300 landed directly from painting, wearing its new Airbus name and colours.
The A220 family comprises two models, the A220-100 and A220-300, formerly Bombardier Inc.’s C Series (CS100 and CS300). The aircraft are fully optimized for the 100 to 150 seat market and complement Airbus’ existing best-selling A320neo family.
“Everyone at Airbus has been looking forward to this historic moment. Today, we are thrilled to welcome the A220 to the Airbus family and are honoured to see it wearing its new Airbus colours for the first time,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus President Commercial Aircraft. “I pay tribute to all the women and men at Bombardier and the supply chain who have strived over the past years to bring this fantastic aircraft to the world. The A220 now enters a new phase in its career with all Airbus’ ressources behind it to further its commercial success worldwide."
Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, added: “We are enthusiastic about incorporating the A220 in the Airbus Family. I have received positive feedback from customers, and this contributes to my optimism that within the Airbus network, we will make the A220 a great commercial success."
By all accounts, the Props and Pistons Show and Shine held on Sunday, May 27, at Red Deer Airport was a tremendous success. According to the airport’s director of marketing and communications, Nicole Holinaty, the organizers had originally hoped that 200 people would attend the event. Instead, crowds of multiple thousands of enthusiasts arrived to attend the Show and Shine, which served as a fundraiser for the Red Deer Food Bank. In that regard, the event was definite success, having raised $4,035 for the charitable organization. Visitors also donated 2,305 pounds (1,046 kg) of food. As a secondary objective, the event served to introduce the public, and the youth in particular, to airport tenants and the aviation industry in general. The first Props and Pistons Show and Shine dramatically exceeded expectations as almost 50 aircraft and about 200 classic and modified cars were on display, with several food trucks serving attendees. Some of the more interesting aircraft on static display included an RCMP Pilatus PC-12, a Douglas A-26 waterbomber and the Fairview Restoration Society’s Canso.
Helicopters and personnel from the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 450 and 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadrons completed an exercise on May 22, 2018, to validate their capabilities in anticipation of an eventual deployment of a Task Force to Mali as part of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
The pre-deployment preparation achieved the integration of the CH-146 Griffon and CH-147F Chinook helicopters, the validation of the Forward Aeromedical Evacuation capability, and certification of the headquarters team.
The scenarios were designed to prepare the Task Force to operate in a complex environment that mirrored the realities of the peace support operation planned for Mali.
“The advanced tactical aviation capabilities of the Royal Canadian Air Force will make an invaluable contribution to the United Nations Peace Support Operations in Mali,” said Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger, commander of the RCAF. “The Task Force is well-equipped and has formed as an effective composite aviation detachment to fully empower our airmen and airwomen to deliver their support to MINUSMA.”
The Task Force will provide two CH-147F Chinook helicopters from 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, based in Petawawa, Ontario, and four CH-146 Griffon helicopters from 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, based in Edmonton, Alberta. Aircraft spares could also be made available to the Aviation Detachment.
The CH-146 Griffon helicopters will serve as an armed escort for the Chinooks in Mali as they carry out critical mission requirements as part of MINUSMA. As well, Canadian Armed Forces will provide a number of medically-trained personnel who will facilitate medical evacuations for partners and allied forces on the ground and provide logistical support for the mission.
“The validation of the Forward Aeromedical Evacuation capability and Task Force represents a critical step in our preparations to deploy to Mali,” said Colonel Chris McKenna, commander (designate) of Task Force Mali. “Participation in this exercise ensures that RCAF tactical aviation aircraft and personnel are prepared to uphold the commitment to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, as directed by the Government of Canada.”
On March 19, 2018, Canada announced its commitment to deploy a Task Force made up of medium utility and heavy-lift transport helicopters for up to 12 months to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Planning and preparations have been underway since that time, with a view to deploying the Task Force in August 2018.
Canada’s contribution will join 57 MINUSMA partner countries in their continued efforts to bring sustainable peace and stability to Mali and the Sahel.
Longview Aviation Asset Management (LAAM) of Calgary, Alberta, in cooperation with Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia, has launched the Viking CL-415EAF (Enhanced Aerial Firefighter) Conversion Programme.
The collaboration between the two sister-companies on the CL-415EAF Enhanced Aerial Firefighter Conversion Programme will provide an economic boost throughout Western Canada derived from job creation, aerospace manufacturing innovation, supply chain development, academic partnerships, and global export opportunities.
To initiate the programme, LAAM will be hiring up to 150 technical and support staff members at its Calgary facilities, where eleven specially selected CL-215 aerial firefighting aircraft owned by LAAM will undergo the modification process utilizing Viking-supplied conversion kits.
To support development of the conversion kits, Viking has hired 50 employees to date and has launched a recruitment campaign to hire an additional 50 staff at its Victoria, BC location. Viking will also be reinstating its very effective 'Viking Academy' paid-training programme to provide successful applicants with the targeted technical training required for these positions. Both LAAM and Viking are working with local post-secondary institutions to develop innovative technologies and provide training assistance in support of this programme.
The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) has been engaged for personnel training in Alberta, and Viking is actively developing partnerships with companies participating in the British Columbia Technology Super Cluster initiative.
The Viking CL-415EAF Conversion Programme forms part of a staged approach to utilize the advancements made with the LAAM converted aircraft as the basis for the proposed Viking CL-515 new-production amphibious aerial firefighting aircraft.
To facilitate the launch of the proposed CL-515 amphibious aircraft manufacturing programme, Viking has applied to the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) from the federal Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) for funding support.
The SIF funding would be invested between British Columbia and Alberta’s aerospace manufacturing, supply chain, academic, and skills training sectors, and provide programme benefits to both provinces in Western Canada.
Yesterday, new ultra-low fare airline Swoop received its first Boeing 737-800NG. The airline is currently preparing for its launch of operations on June 20, 2018. The unveiling of Swoop’s livery has been much anticipated, prompting Swoop to share a first look teaser image on social media last week. Emblazoned with the eye-catching magenta Swoop logo, and magenta accented tailfin and winglets, this is the first of six Boeing 737-800NG aircraft to be delivered this year. Several more milestone announcements, from Swoop’s official uniform unveiling to the launch of a range of international destinations, will be made in the near future.
“The delivery of our first aircraft is yet another exciting milestone as we begin the final countdown to Swoop’s operational launch,” said Steven Greenway, Swoop President and CEO. “The phenomenal team at Swoop has been working tirelessly towards our first flights and everything is “GO” for Swoop to take to the skies on June 20.”
Swoop will operate a modern, fuel efficient fleet of Boeing 737-800NGs. This aircraft type will fit into Swoop’s ultra-low-cost business model, which aims to optimize efficiency while minimizing maintenance and operating costs. With 189 seats, including 39 with extra legroom, the aircraft interior is outfitted with amenities, including in-seat power, fully adjustable headrests, WiFi connectivity and in-flight entertainment.
For further information, visit FlySwoop.com
The Global 7000 is now the largest and the longest range business jet ever built, and is able to fly a full 300 nautical miles farther than initial commitment. This highly anticipated aircraft is on track for its first delivery during the second half of 2018, with more than 1,800 hours of flight testing accomplished and interior completions well under way at Bombardier’s facilities in Montreal. The Global 7000 features four distinct living spaces, a complete kitchen and a full-size crew suite. Having completed multiple long-range flights around the world, the Global 7000 now boasts a tremendous range of 7,700 nautical miles, connecting more city pairs than any other business aircraft.
“We are thrilled to offer this extended range to our loyal customers, who are the driving force behind our engineering feats and who will soon own an aircraft that simply has no peer,” said David Coleal, President, Bombardier Business Aircraft. “Not only are we standing by our commitment to begin delivering Global 7000 aircraft this year, we are exceeding expectations along the way.”
The new 7,700-nautical-mile baseline range will be a feature on the Global 7000 for all existing and future customers. The flight test programme is progressing to plan, with all five test vehicles in flight. The flight test programme, which began in November 2016, has completed more than 1,800 hours of flight testing and is currently finalizing certification for the aircraft.
With a maximum operating range of 7,700 nautical miles, the Global 7000 can fly farther than any other business jet. The aircraft was widely publicized as being able to connect some of the world’s most expansive city pairings, including such routes as New York to Shanghai, and Singapore to Seattle. Today, Bombardier can confirm that with its extended range, the Global 7000 aircraft is the only business aircraft that can connect New York to Hong Kong, and Singapore to San Francisco.
Just five months into testing, this high-speed aircraft set a record as the largest business jet to operate so close to the sound barrier, reaching a milestone top speed of Mach 0.995.